STDs are notorious for being untreatable. While some of these diseases may never be completely cured, most can be tackled effectively with modern medication.
There are plenty of treatments available for STDs in both men and women. Common STD treatments for men include antibiotics and antiviral drugs. The choice of drug to treat a certain STD depends on several factors. However, the most important factor in determining the effectiveness of any treatment is the cause itself. Antibiotics are extremely useful in bacterial STDs like chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. In comparison, antiviral drugs are useful in conditions caused by viruses, including HPV, HIV, and herpes. Preventative treatments are also available depending on the causative factor as well.
Despite so many treatments available for STDs, some STDs are not curable. They can, however, be effectively managed with appropriate drugs. Moreover, STD treatments are intricate and precise and should not be used carelessly without a doctor's guidance.
COMMON STD TREATMENTS FOR MEN
As mentioned before, the treatment choice depends on the type of STD itself. Moreover, different treatment types have different goals. For example, antiviral drug therapy for HIV is meant to treat the symptoms and to limit the frequency with which they appear, not to cure HIV itself.
Some of the most common STD treatments for men and women are described below.
Antibiotics are a class of drugs that are effective against bacterial STDs. Common bacterial STDs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
Cefixime and cefpodoxime are the antibiotics to treat gonorrhea and chlamydia. Azithromycin is another antibiotic that is extremely useful in the treatment of both gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Penicillin is the drug of choice for the treatment of syphilis. A single large dose is usually enough to cure the disease completely.
However, it is important to note that all bacterial STDs have developed some resistance against antibiotic treatment over the years. Therefore, multiple antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial STDs, and the choice of which drugs to use depends on culture reports.
Antiviral drugs are extremely useful in treating sexually transmitted diseases caused by viruses. The most common viral STDs include HIV, HPV, hepatitis B, and herpes.
It is, however, important to note that while antiviral drugs are extremely effective in treating viral STDs, they cannot completely cure them. Viral STDs are much harder to treat as viruses are adept at hiding and escaping.
PROPHYLAXIS, AND VACCINATION
Prophylaxis is useful in preventing a certain STDs. Vaccination also protects against diseases by conferring passive immunity to an individual. However, these treatment options only work when administered before actual exposure to a disease-causing agent occurs.
An example of an effective prophylactic treatment against an STD is PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylactic treatment for HIV. Emtriva and Viread, two drugs that are approved by CDA to be used in PrEP therapy, when taken in appropriate doses, can help prevent HIV in people who are at risk of acquiring the disease.
An example of vaccination against STDs is the hepatitis B vaccine, which, when administered, provides effective protection against the hepatitis B virus. Vaccines are available against HPV, or the human papillomavirus, which is transmitted sexually and is also one of the leading causes of cervical cancer in women.
HOW TO PREVENT STDS?
While many treatment options are available for STDs, prevention remains the number one way to stay protected against STDs.
Preventative measures are centered on lowering any individual's risk of acquiring STDs. The risk of acquiring STDs is proportionally linked to the number of high-risk behaviors an individual might have. Therefore, prevention is only possible when high-risk behaviors are identified and eliminated accordingly.
Some of the high-risk behaviors which make individuals prone to collecting STDs include:
- Sharing injecting needles
- Having unprotected sex
- Having sexual intercourse with multiple partners
- Not knowing the STD status of your sexual partner(s)
- And not getting tested regularly for STDs
An effective way to prevent acquiring any STD is to employ safe-sex behaviors. Here are some safe-sex behaviors that are clinically proven to lower your risk of acquiring STDs:
- Always use a condom before any sexual activity
- Limiting the number of your sexual partners
- Getting yourself and your partners tested for STDs regularly
- Avoiding the use of injecting needles or not sharing them with others, at the very least
- Not sharing any personal hygiene products, including razors, towels, or toothbrushes